It seems as if the music will never end in this current market. Your clients continue to receive (what appears to the novice) good news daily, and momentum is in full play. Let’s not forget your clients aren’t professionals for the most part, and need more of your time in the new year whether they realize it or not. Most readers have heard the adage, “be careful to not get ahead of your skis”. We believe this is starting to be the case for many retail clients. Nothing seems to derail the retail investor as early signs of euphoria appear. Advisors know times like these are exactly when clients need them most. Three things clients will certainly need in 2018 include: talent, education, and offerings.
You’re a financial advisor. Does your firm have the talent to complete the macro requirements of one? The Wealth Counselor™ of tomorrow will need to exceed the client demands and needs of tomorrow. You will be called upon to execute in the areas of advice, planning, family, business, executive compensation, taxation, trust and estate, and charitable client endeavors. If this talent doesn’t exist currently, seek guidance on how to bring it in-house or collaborate with what we label “partners with influence” in your community. Talent also includes those around you. Clients will demand staffers have authority to execute, and are accountable to results. From the small things such as getting messages to you instantly and accurately, to ideas for how to better manage your social media offerings; internal talent is required. Clients may admire you for their portfolio results, but will leave you if they don’t believe in your firm’s tactical support. Talent is a mandate in 2018.
If we had to break down one key role of a successful Wealth Counselor™ for the new year, it would be that of an educator. Clients receive more noise today than ever before in the history of finance. Information has gone from coffee shops and newspapers to 7.5 sources (on average) for daily financial news per customer. Rather than allowing your clients to execute financial decisions based on noise, become their source for education. You’ll argue your clients don’t make decisions without you now. We’ll argue that many times that’s true, but other times they don’t even realize a decision was made from the latest news source. Educate clients on a continual basis. This may be in the form of monthly private-client events or electronically in a new format you offer for 2018. Education will also become your largest prospecting medium. What you offer your clients in education is easily transferable to the street via your clients or other marketing methods. Education is a requirement in 2018.
Go back to what we wrote earlier about the requirements of the Wealth Counselor™. To deliver talent, your firm will need the offerings on the shelf to accomplish integrated planning. This means you will need to offer products and services you may only flirt with presently. Some great examples include life insurance and alternative investments. These, along with other offerings, will need to become common discussion in 2018 as clients become more educated and desire to know more about solutions their peers, partners, or parents are using to enhance their wealth planning. Offerings must improve in 2018.
2018 may begin as a continuum of 2017 as most years past. However, the speed and needs of financial planning will outpace yesteryear aggressively. Don’t let the momentum blind you—but instead use it to see your client demands. Where can you go for help? Rely on alliances such as yours with Financial Independence Group to provide you resources in talent, education, and the top-breadth offerings in fixed insurance products.
Cheers to a brave new year, wishing you success in all you do.
Surge Business Consulting
January 2018. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information. Sources: Surge Business Consulting, Barron’s, SEI. This is not tax or legal advice and is the opinion of its authors, Surge Business Consulting, only.